Homeowners avoid forced HOA to pay for new dam at Ivy Lake (VA)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Two years ago, Liberty University filed a lawsuit, in an attempt to convince the courts that 400 homeowners with properties near Ivy Lake should be forced to form a homeowners’ association to pay for $1 million in repairs to a dam. The HOA, if approved, would have transferred …


HOAs, condos, & co-ops: Quasi-governments or ‘contractual communities’?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   In 2012, California Attorney Tyler Berding published an article on his website, Condo Issues, making his case that an association governed community is purely ‘contractual.’ In Berding’s opinion, ‘community associations’ are not governments, because, in theory, members voluntarily agree to CC&Rs and Bylaws for the good of the …

HOA, condo, co-op litigation and case law news (Aug./Sept. 2018)

Case law books court legal appeal

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Highlights of court rulings on legal disputes between association-governed communities and their members or third parties.  This South Carolina case should serve as a home buyer beware warning. When you buy into a golf community, or any other amenity-rich community, subject to Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions that require club …

Development agreement creates extra expense for HOA, future homeowners

Hand shake development agreement contract

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today’s featured article highlights problems that occur when local governments engage in poorly thought out contracts with real estate developers, commonly known as developement agreements. Homeowners in McCormick Creek recently learned that they could be legally obligated — via their homeowners’ association — to pay for maintenance of a …

Important California HOA, condo, coop legislation updates (Sept. 2018)

Independent American Communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Updated September 6, 2018 7:22 PM

The 2018 legislation session ended with some good, and some not so good new laws for Californians residing in common interest developments.

The following 4 bills are currently enrolled, awaiting approval of Governor Jerry Brown.

AB 2912 passed with near unanimous support from both houses of the Legislature. The bill creates greater accountability for both association board (trustee) members and managing agents for association-governed communities, including the following:

  • Fidelity bond coverage requirements for the association, to guard against losses due to dishonesty of board members or community association management companies
  • Requires a management agent to deposit all association funds in an interest-bearing account, and requires written approval from the board for any transfer of funds in excess of $10,000 or 5% of the association’s combined accounts, whichever is lower
  • Requires association board members to review financial documents and…

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Condo owners mulling cheaper solution to stop Millennium Tower from sinking and tilting

Google satellite image of Millennium Tower San Francisco

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities San Francisco’s Millennium Tower has gained notoriety for sinking 18-inches into the soil beneath the mammoth structure, causing the building to tilt to one side. For several years, condo owners and the homeowners association have been engaged in legal battles with the developer. Both sides conducted various invasive tests …

Marina owner’s lawsuit against HOA disputes access to community pool


By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Did you know that condominium associations are not just for apartment-style homes and townhouses? The condominium governance structure is also used for non-residential property such as storage units, garages, and boat slips in a marina. For example, Half Moon Bay in Croton-on-Hudson (NY) is a common interest community …

Phase 1 POA suing Millville by the Sea Master Association and others

Sand Dollar Village POA says developers cut off services, amenities to homeowners following a 2014 restructuring of the Master Community Association By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In some parts of the U.S., local governments are fond of approving developement plans for large scale common interest communities with thousands of homes and an elaborate array …

Too often, local governments refuse to help taxpayers in condo, HOA communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Millions of Americans own homes or reside in communities with private infrastructure and amenities. To be more precise, “private” property of a homeowners, condominium, or cooperative association is actually communal property, that, theoretically, benefits only the members of one particular residential community or neighborhood. For more than 40 …

HOA, condo, coop Golf Community updates (Sept. 2018)

  When a golf course is closed, but no new development is on the horizon, nearby residents have to deal with tall grass and overgrown shrubs. Not only does it look awful, it also serves as a haven for snakes, rodents, and other pests.  Finally, after several years of complaints, County government decided to enact …